Knowing that this is just my own opinions that mean nothing to the reality of what the CFL is or could be, and only serves to be an expenditure of my time typing this, I say:
The league, the country, and the fans should decide whether the Canadian ratio is worth having or not.
If it is, then don't tinker with it. Leave it alone and let it stand the way it's been, or eliminate it completely.
Eliminate the ratio. Eliminate the Canadian draft, and allow any and all Canadians (not under contract) to be free agents whose presence on a team does not count towards any roster limit or salary cap.
Keep the ratio and never allow it to be a point of bargaining in the collective agreement. Create a charter.
Whichever choice allows for easier and more successful league expansion within Canada would be my vote. Pick one.
And then get working on improved and added broadcasts of the game, stepping further and further away from the need for ticket sales being the main source of revenue.
So your hot take: either no ratio, or the ratio stays as it is until the end of time.
There are certainly people who:
want the ratio eliminated
want the ratio kept as status quo
But there are also people who want the ratio
increased - getting more opportunities for Nationals
kept, but not a factor in who starts
tweaked to encourage Americans to be loyal to teams
tweaked to provide spots for global players to grow the game internationally
modified include Canadian QBs
lowered to make Canadians compete for spots
So, I'm sorry, you're just not going to get your wish. The "ratio" is as core to Canadian professional football as the rouge and 3-downs. And it will be a topic of conversation as much as expansion and why can't the league market itself better?
My wish is for stability which will help the league in marketing itself. There will always be enough issues - regarding revenue sharing - that will come up with each CBA negotiation that cementing the ratio question is a must. At least IMO.
The constant talks of tweaking rules and Canadian content have to at least be finalized for a while, or we never sail into clear weather.
Let's ask the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and see if there are any parallels with CanCon and the Canadian mandate in the CFL
" Our new MLI study recommends that Ottawa eliminate CanCon rules altogether to recognize the changes in the digital landscape. It is not to say that Canadian broadcasters would not produce or disseminate Canadian content, but it would mean it is based on consumer demands rather than bureaucratic diktats."
Good find Aerial. The CRTC mandate and the debate surrounding that could scarcely be less similar to the ratio rules in the CFL and the debate surrounding them. Both sets of rules were made in a very different time decades ago and there are proponents on both sides for both sets of rules. One difference is that the CRTC admits its rules are out of date.
I have stated more than once my preference for free choice and an absence of protectionism or even censorship, whether that is applicable to the airwaves or the gridiron.
Those who are in favour of disposing of the CRTC and perhaps the CBC as well will no doubt be against CFL ratio rules, which by any measure have far less impact upon Canadian culture than the CRTC does. Rather than being forced to watch reruns of Degrassi High or whatever schlock currently airs on CBC, I much prefer to have a free choice and watch shows like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos and Dexter, because they are better. I also prefer the same choice when it comes to my football and just want to watch the best possible product on the field. The CRTC and the ratio rules ensure that merit isn’t a criteria in deciding what is to be aired or whether someone should be playing in the CFL.
I hear you and could hardly disagree (about the CBC).
The CBC could get back into the CFL broadcasting business. Since they left, some new revenue doors have opened. The CRTC (which I know was created for good, but now acts like a piano harnessed to - would be - entities moving forward) should be dealt with. Though, there are a lot of jobs there (CRTC). A lot of people there making good money working nine to five. I have to admit though, I'm not sure one really has anything to do with the other in this case.
I grew up with the CBC like you and many others, but, they should stake a claim somewhere both cultural and equitable for this country (once again). I don't think they do enough, personally.
Oh, there are so many possibilities, it boggles my mind. And I could start blaming the people in the nice offices with great jobs, but I don't want to. I want to believe they still want to have a large stake in Canada. Maybe the CFL can get that snowball rolling. But right now they (CFL) have a bit of a problem on their hands.
Umm... but people HAVE stopped watching CBC... in droves - because the programing sucks (at least according to the ratings).
So, your solution is to keep things status quo and let things get even worse at the CBC? Regrettably that is the same mentality that is killing the CFL. You don't like it.. stop watching!!! Hmmm.. I wonder why these businesses have been failing?
Although I don't completely agree with everything you say, for example, I would say Schitt's Creek is better than most American type equivalents, I have to give a like to your post because as the Macdonald-Laurier article and you both say nicely, it doesn't mean that Canadian content will go the way of the dodo bird without protections. I'm coming more and more onto your side, if you will, and I think that perhaps without any ratio protection or CanCon rules, Canadianisms and Canadian content whether artisitic productions, mandated sports/arts personnel rules as in the CFL etc. are going to stand out regardless if they can compete at a high enough level. Let's face facts, Canadian football players in the CFL aren't competing anyways agains't NFL players, they are competing agains't a lower level type of player or type of player the NFL doesn't really want/need, why does a mandate even need to exist anyways?
The Schitt's Creeks are going to be produced CanCon or no CanCon just as the Andrew Harris types are going to succeed in the CFL mandate or no mandate. Yes, I agree, get rid of this mandated thing in the CFL once and for all I'm starting to think.
To be honest, I think this mandated protectionism in the CFL is part of the evolution of the league that will eventually be seen to be simply not needed, at all, in the least. Yes, it's called evolutionary Canada to become better than it is, but we are still somewhat in the Middle Ages at this point, just like you couldn't buy a decent novel on a Sunday in Ontario at one time but you could go into a corner store and buy all the smut mags you wanted. It's simply antiquated thinking which CanCon and the mandated Canadians in the CFL is the more I think about it.
This ratio thing in the CFL is probably going to eventually kill the league if they can't dump this antiquated beast soon.
Without the ratio teams could still have Canadians on their team, if they don't count towards the roster or salary cap. A team could have 20 Canadians on the practice roster - if they want to pay them - and see what happens. It would be up to the team. Kinda their own minor league.
My belief is that either way we have to find a way to get it written in stone so it doesn't come up at every CBA negotiation. Because it will if we don't.
Andrew Harris wouldn't have existited if not for the ratio. He was an udrafted free agent, from a juniour program, who spent the first couple of years on special teams. They even tried converting him to slotback.
Believe me, you are delusional if you don't think a talent like Harris would have eventually come to the fore front if he was dedicated and motivated. All CFL teams will want to hire talented, and equally as important motivated and dedicated to gridiron Canadians for so many reasons, I don't even need to list the main ones here because we all know these reasons here, mandates or no mandates. Come on man, don't live in the Dark Ages. Canada doesn't/shouldn't need that crap any more to be respected right up front.
And BTW, special team players are very valuable in their own right on any football team especially in Canada where kicking is more crucial to the outcome of the game compared with the American version with the shorter field etc.
Good to see you have seen the light Aerial. I will be passing around the collection plate later.
But seriously, you understand one of my major points well. Canadians can be competitive in their own right and there is no need to cower and protect us from Americans. Good example with the ridiculous Sunday closing laws we used to have.
One example I have used before is the film and comedy industries. To name but a few, Lorne Michaels, Phil Hartman (my personal fave), Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, Martin Short, John Candy, Jim Carey, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Anna Paquin, Tommy Chong, Michael J Fox, Neve Campbell (another personal fave), Howie Mandel, Norm Macdonald, Eugene Levy, Jesse Eisenberg, Rick Moranis, Carrie Ann Moss, Ellen (Elliot) Page, Leslie Nielsen, Christopher Plummer, Jason Priestley, Seth Rogan, Jay Baruchel, Elias Koteas, William Shatner, Donald Sutherland, David Cronenberg, Alan Thicke, Alex Trebek and of course Bubbles. All Canadian. I won’t even get started on our rich history of world class musicians.
Lorne Michaels is the brain child behind the most successful and longest running comedy show ever. Dan Aykroyd was the highest grossing movie star ever until supplanted by Harrison Ford. Mike Myers made more money than any other SNL alumni ever thanks to two Wayne’s World movies, three Austin Powers ( one more rumoured to come) and three Shreks. Jim Carey was for several years the highest paid actor in the world. Anna Paquin, Michael J Fox and Jason Priestley all starred in the # 1 TV show at one time. Alex Trebek was the star of arguably the most successful game show ever.
These talented people didn’t need protectionist rules to succeed and might never have succeeded if they were faced with protectionist rules in the United States (except for Bubbles). In my view censorship and disqualifying rules are no way to make the most of talented people and achieve greatness. Sort of like when Bill Gates and Steve Jobs showed the world that it is better to surround yourself with quality and greatness than to keep potential challengers well down in the pecking order.
Even if that is true, if the CFL does not start connecting with young Canadians (in a big way), the Andrew Harris' of the world will NOT have an opportunity to watch (and be inspired by) live professional football in Canada.
If you're passing around the collection plate, are you going to do this with a clerical collar? Just kidding, you don't have to answer this question.
But as well I don't think we should be thinking about Canadian protectionism in the CFL or the arts, music whatever CanCon in the same light as what is happening in Quebec with the English language situation, at least I don't think so unless someone wants to challenge me on this. At any rate, I did think about this with the recent news in Quebec and the talk of the CBA in the CFL, if there are any similarities worth mentioning???
"Bill 96, which passed on Tuesday afternoon in the province’s national assembly, will require new immigrants and refugees to communicate with provincial officials exclusively in French six months after arriving or face a loss of services. The bill also limits the use of English in the legal system and caps enrolment at the province’s English-language schools." ...
I have never been able to understand the hypocrisy of forcing French on people in Quebec and prohibiting English while expecting French to be legislated into use in New Brunswick and Manitoba ( the two officially bilingual provinces) at great cost and for little purpose and insisting on French labelling throughout Canada. The US handles their language situation much better than we do, in my opinion, but that is a discussion for another day. And in case you think I am biased, I learned to speak, read and write French when I was young although I am tres rusty.
I will wear anything you want when passing the collection plate as long as you are generous with your contribution. For enough money you might even get me into a dress like the pope wears.